The F1 juggernaut has arrived in China for the second race of the season with one question in everyone's mind. Can Ferrari repeat their success from Australia on a track that favours Mercedes?

The Scuderia lived up to their tag of being the team to take the battle to Mercedes after the pre-season tests when Sebastian Vettel took the top step of the podium ahead of Lewis Hamilton at the Albert Park circuit in the first race of the season.

The brewing battle between the two most successful drivers in Formula One at the moment has given a fresh impetus to the season, with everyone hoping it continues throughout the season right until the final race.

Hamilton and Vettel have won between them seven of the last nine drivers' championships, but have not been directly involved in a championship battle. The duo along with the rest of the paddock are hoping for it to materialise this season.

Ferrari
Ferrari have not won back-to-back races since Fernando Alonso won in Monza and Singapore in 2010 Getty

Red Bull Racing will hope to bridge the gap with the two leading teams sooner rather than later. They were off the pace at the season opening race in Australia and are still struggling with reliability issues with their Renault power unit.

The weather in China has always been unpredictable and it seems the same this year with rain forecast during the course of the race weekend. A wet track always throws up surprises and the teams that are struggling – namely McLaren - will welcome an added obstacle for the teams to navigate to level the playing field albeit very marginally.

Where to watch live

The first practice session of the Chinese Grand Prix starts at 3am BST on Friday (7 April), with Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD providing live coverage in the UK.

Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.

Live coverage of the second practice session starts at 7am BST.

Track Facts

  • Circuit name: Shanghai International Circuit
  • First F1 Race: 2004
  • Circuit length: 5.451kms
  • Number of laps: 56
  • Race distance: 305.066 km
  • Lap record: 1:32.238 M Schumacher (2004)
  • Most wins: Lewis Hamilton (4)
  • 2016 winner: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
  • 2016 pole: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

Drivers' Championship review

There is a non-Mercedes driver leading the championship for the first time in three seasons after Sebastian Vettel won the season opening Grand Prix in Australia. The German leads the way with Lewis Hamilton in second place and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas rounding out the top three.

The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen is in fourth place to reaffirm the pre-season belief that Mercedes and the Scuderia are the two leading the way in 2017. Red Bull Racing is yet to join the party at the front of the grid and looked off the pace at the Albert Park circuit. Max Verstappen is in fifth place, while Daniel Ricciardo is still to put points on the board after a DNF in the first race.

Talks about title favourites after just one race is pre-mature, but it looks like there could be a battle brewing between the two most successful drivers in Formula One at the moment – Vettel and Hamilton – winners of four and three drivers titles respectively.

Constructors' Championship review

Similar to the drivers' championship, the constructors' battle is also being led by a non-Mercedes team for the first time in three seasons. Ferrari's first and fourth place finishes in Melbourne was enough to give them a four-point lead over the reigning champions.

Red Bull Racing, Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso make up the midfield chasing pack, but the energy drinks team will be hoping to join the battle in the front of the grid rather than the midfield.